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Lawsuit

Doug406

Member
Well it happened. I received a letter in the mail today telling me: A person alleged she slipped and fell, suffering a fractured hip as a result of this incident. Alleging it was due to improper clearing of snow from the lot.<br> We were contracted to plow only, NO SALTING. Wechecked with the manager 3 different times about salting, bur she said NO. I do have my invoice showing it was plowed, and log book documentation of the time plowed. <br> What should I do? Is this a common thing. Any advice. Do you think I will be held liable, or should I fight it.<br>
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
Ok<br>My advice is try to fight it but on your own ( up here and maine we are famous for this). If ya lose your insurance company will still pay ( i think).<p>Ok you buy law can call the manager to court. Where she has to admit that she refused salting, and that you suggested it should be salted.<p>Second if you were in the middle of the storm, that might be enough to get ya free and clear. <p>Third state the contract was for clearing snow only. Maybe bring in a few &quot;expert plowers&quot; and have them explain that if snow has been driven on it can't always be scraped to bare tar ( this might now work but worth it's an idea).<p>Hope it helps.<br>We don't get many slip in falls up in maine, because people don't believe in salt never heard of it before. If your sanded you covered up in maine.<p>Geoff
 

steveair

Senior Member
Hey doug,<br>My experience with this is not very good. I use to work for a engineer doing CAD drawings for civil trip and fall cases. He was a professional witness as to the cause of the porblem. A good example was one accident where a lady tripped over a crack in the sidewalk. I had to draw up a diagram of a sidewalk area where the lady fell. It included everything from what type of concrete it was, to the height of the sidewalk crack, to the location of the nearest car (Don't know why that was needed)<br>From what I heard, the person who fell had all the rights, and she won. Though it was a public sidewalk, and in the towns right of way actually, the store was still responsible for the sidewalk. They said if the store had reported the incident to the town, they would of been clear then. They didn't however. <p>A good thing to do for know would be to get pictures. Anything may help. Especially pics of where she fell. There may be something else there to have caused the accident. IE, maybe a crack in the walk, a slippery metal grate, or if it was a ramp where she fell. If it was a handicapp ramp, maybe the angle was too steep. Also, look for paint. I heard that if the stripes in a parking lot do not have glass beads, technically it is a slip hazard. <p>Now, I can't believe this world and how sue happy people are, but I guess you will have to deal with it. I would definitely talk to the owner first and try to negotiate with them. If you get sued directly by the trip victim, you should be able to counter sue the restauraunt. I know in civil cases that if they told you not to salt, which they obviously did, then it is there responsibility, and you have no need to have proof in writing, though it would make it easier. Also, maybe proof of how you salt other lots wills will help back your point of how you wanted to salt theirs, but they would n't allow it.<p>Just figure I'd give you a few other ways to approach the matter.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
Well first I would tell your agent so they dont get surprised later. Next are they suing you direct, or were you named in the suit against the resturant?<br>If you were just a named participant then just file a (cant remember the name of the form) but it basically it says that even if evrything they say is true, you accept no liability. Then they have to prove that you do have laibilty just to keep you in the suit.<br>Next change ins co's right now. That way if a claim is payed it wont be factored into your premium with the new ins co.<br>Then let the ins co's fight it out. that is why we have ins. If you fight this on your own, you will only lose time and money.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
 

thelawnguy

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Central CT
I second Dinos post, I had a slip and fall suit in 97, I gave it to the insurance co and told em to handle it. Then changed insurance companies. The old co. contacted me once, basically for info on what I did, saw, ate, etc that day, but to date I have not heard back from them. Just as well. No news is good news.<p>Just send the info to your ins co and let em go at it. And dont discuss any details with ANYBODY except your insurance co. and your attorney, if you need to get one. You'd be surprised how slimeballs can take the simplest statement and twist it around.<p>Bill<br>
 
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